By: Gary Tilzer
AOC’s endorsement in Brooklyn turned out to be more than an endorsement. It can now officially be labeled a movement that not only propelled Brad Lander in his race for City Comptroller and helped candidate for Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso obtain large leads in round one of the counting process. It also helped at least eight Brooklyn city council candidates lead in the first round of counting; some with commanding leads. This growing progressive machine also helped mayoral candidate Maya Wiley’s rise to second place in the first round of the mayor’s race.
Of course, it was not only AOC that effected these Brooklyn races. It was a combination of a directorate of interlocking progressives, liberal groups and PACs, including AOC’s Courage to Change, that work remarkably well together. They help in acquiring extra money and resources for the chosen progressive candidates, beyond public funding limits. Progressive groups and PACs with money and resources that are difficult to trace are where the funding comes from.
One of the coalitions’ main leader is the Working Families Party (WFP). They not only won most of the competitive city council races in Brooklyn, but they also won races in Queens and the Bronx. Tiffany Cabán, who narrowly lost a race for Queens District Attorney in 2019, is leading in a primary for a City Council seat. And in Astoria the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) now have a DSA candidate elected on every level of government. Democratic-Socialist insurgent India Walton toppled four-term incumbent, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown — an ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo — in Tuesday’s primary election.
Three Brooklyn community leaders in majority-black districts also are leading after round one. In the past the Brooklyn County leader was a big player in picking the new council speaker, clearly not this year. None of these can be called part of the Brooklyn Democratic machine: Darlene Mealy, a Cabin former councilwoman who represented Brownsville, earned 57 percent of the vote to Alicka-Ampry-Samuel’s 42 percent — a rare ousting of an incumbent Council member. Charles Barron, is slated to once again take over his wife’s current seat, which he formerly held before being term-limited and successfully running for an Assembly seat based in East New York. Barron earned roughly 47 percent of the first-choice votes. Mercedes Narcisse who has run against Frank Seddio’s Brooklyn machine is leading in the 46th Canarsie council district with 36% of the vote. Eleven of thirteen competitive city council races went to progressives or community activists.
The Progressive and Independent Council Districts are Out-Voting the Jewish District by More Than 5 to 1 in Brooklyn
Two other council races took place in the Jewish community. In the 47th council district Ari Kagan has 2743 votes; 42.65% after the first round. In second place in the 47th council district is Steven D. Patzer with 2180 votes 33.90%. In the 48th council district Steven Saperstein has 2358 votes, with 31.15%. In second place in the 48th is Mariya Markh with 2154 votes 28.46%. The vote in the two Jewish Council Districts is very low after the first round: 14,000. The total vote in Councilman Kalman Yeger’s district (who was not challenged in the primary and was not on the primary ballot) in the borough president race was 7,246. The vote in the Farah N. Louis 45th council district which contains a large Jewish community was 16,954. The vote in the eight council districts where progressives are ahead is 166,387.
The votes for the three community activists who are ahead in their council races are 43,903. The total vote in the two competitive Jewish council races which are in the Yager and Louis districts is 38,200. The total vote in the eight progressive council districts is 210,290. The progressive and independent council districts are outvoting the Jewish council district by more than 5 to 1.
Gentrification Has Caused Brooklyn to be the Home of the New Progressive Movement
The progressive machine is more powerful than the Brooklyn Democratic Party machine and the Jewish community is pulling out their votes and their endorsements. Among the endorsements of Robert E. Cornegy Jr who is trailing Reynoso by 26,882 votes after the first round of public counting was former Brooklyn Boss Frank Seddio’s club, known as the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club. The current Brooklyn Democratic leaders are Rodneyse Bichotte and Alan Maisel. Also involved are Jewish leaders and organizations such as Kalman Yeger, the Flatbush Jewish Community Council and the Jewish Press as well as many other papers.
Even Councilman Justin Brannan who is running for council speaker endorsed Bichotte’s machine pick Cornegy for BP, in his attempt to be all things to all groups. Brannan also endorsed several of the progressive candidates.
How the AOC’s Progressive Machine Works
The 40th Council District: Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Ditmas Park, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Park South, and parts of Crown Heights and Kensington
In the 40th district, AOC endorsed Rita C. Joseph, who is ahead in the first round with 5,060 votes or 25.23%. Rita C. Joseph was also endorsed by AOC’s PAC Courage to Change, Black Lives Matter New York, Zephyr Teachout, Streets PAC, The Jewish Vote, Roadmap for Progress, Make the Road Action, NYC Against ICE and Brooklyn Progressive Alliance. Josue Pierre–the cousin of Brooklyn Democratic County Chair, Rodneyse Bichotte, is in second place with 4,073 or 20.31% of the vote.
Notably, Bichotte’s candidate in the 46th Council District, Shirley S. Paul, is also in 2nd place. With 3,162 votes, Bichotte’s backed Paul is almost 20% behind the local community organizer Mercedes Narcisse. Bichotte further lost the race for the Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court and Brooklyn Borough President as she backed Robert E. Cornegy Jr behind Reynoso. Bichotte’s backed Judge Dweynie Esther Paul is behind the front runner Rosemarie Montalbano by almost a two to one margin. In today’s Brooklyn, Montalbano who is part of the former Brooklyn Boss Seddio’s inner circle is the new progressive surrogate of the borough, elected by the liberal brownstone vote.
The 39th Council District: Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Street District, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, and Kensington
In the 39th AOC endorsed Shahana K. Hanif has 10,691 votes or 32.42%. Brandon West is in second place with 7,427 votes or 22.52%. Hanif is the former Director of Organizing and Community Engagement in Brad Lander’s City Council office. Hanif was also endorsed by the Working Families Party, The Jewish Vote, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, our revolution Muslim democratic club of NY, Individual Nation BK, NY Progressive Action Network, Communities of Change, and the Tenant Pac.
The 38th Council District: Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, and portions of Borough Park, Dyker Heights, and Windsor Terrace
In the 38th, AOC endorsed candidate Alexa Aviles has 4,431 or 43.46% in the first round. Yu Lin, with 1,894 votes or 18.58% is in second place in round one. Aviles was also endorsed by Bernie Sanders, WFP, NY Communities of Change, Democratic Socialists of America, Citizen Action! The Jewish Vote, Union of Arab Women, Road to Justice NYC, Make the Road Action, Progressive Women of NY, UFT, Hotel Trades Council, Nydia Velázquez, Julia Salazar, Jabari Brisport, Jumaane Williams, and Antonio Reynoso.
The 37th Council District, includes: Bushwick, Cypress Hills, East New York, Ocean Hill-Brownsville and City Line
In the 37th, AOC endorsed Sandy Nurse, who received 4,905 or 51.58% of the votes. Nurse beat the incumbent council member Darma V. Diaz, backed by Brooklyn Democratic Party machine, who received 2,28 votes or 6 24.04%. If Nurse retains more than 50% of the vote after the absentee ballots are counted, she will not have to go through the RCV process. Nurse was also endorsed by Antonio Reynoso. Nydia Velasquez, Jumaane D. Williams. Make the Road, NY Communities of Change, WFP, Citizens Action of NY, Street PAC, 32BJ, 1199, Tenant PAC, The Jewish Vote and LUNIA! NY
The 36th Council District: Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights
In the 36th, AOC endorsed Chi Ossé, who received 7,690 votes or 37.23% in the first round. In second place is Henry L. Butler with 4,721votes or 22.86% in the first round. Ossé was also endorsed by Courage to Change PAC, WFP, Our Revolution, Black Lives Matter PAC, Tenant PAC, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Citizen Action, The Jewish Vote, Roadmap for Progress and Brad Lander. Chi Ossé is winning the first round despite his statements on Twitter, published by the NY Post, which included statements such as “bro…your girl smells like a halal cart,” “rumor has it” that then-15-year-old British actress Millie Bobbie Brown can “fit 37 pistachios up her ass,” and the infamous “knocked over one of those Jesus worshippers on the subway this morning…feeling random and sinful.”
The 35th Council District: Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant
The Left was split in the 35th Council District. AOC endorsed Michael Hollingsworth is in 2nd place after the first round, with 1,1017 votes or 34.45%. In first place is Crystal Hudson, endorsed by AOC’s PAC Courage to Change, with 12,308 votes 38.49%. Hollingsworth was also endorsed by NY Community of Change, Democratic Socialists of America, Tenant PAC, LUNIA! NY, Tenants PAC, Jabari Brisport, Bernie Sanders and Cynthia Nixon. Hudson was also endorsed by 32BJ, 1199, DC 37, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Black Lives Caucus, Indivisible Nation BK, The Jewish Vote, Make the Road Action, Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC), Our Revolution, StreetsPAC, Yvette D. Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Alessandra Biaggi, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Justin Brannan, Brad Lander and The New York Amsterdam News.
The 34th Council District: Williamsburg, Bushwick, and crosses the Queens border into Ridgewood
In the 34th AOC endorsed Jennifer Gutierrez who received 11683 votes; 79.74% in the first round well which is well beyond the 50% needs to avoid the ranked choice voting recount. Gutierrez was also endorsed by Antonio Reynoso, Nydia Velasquez, Julia Salazar, Jumaane Williams, Jessica Ramos, Brad Lander, Zephyr Teachout, UFT, 32BJ, DC37, Hotel Trades Council, Make the Road, NY Community of Change, The Jewish Vote, Tenant PAC and AOC PAC Courage to Change.
The 33th Council District, includes: Greenpoint, the Northside, South Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn Heights, Willowtown, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus.
In the 33th, AOC’s Pac Courage for Change endorsed Lincoln Restler who has 12231 votes; 48.22%, in the first round. Restler was also endorsed by Nydia Velasquez, Julia Salazar, Jumaane Williams, Jabair Brisport, WFP, Cynthai Nixon, Zephyr Teachout, Justin Brannan, Make the Road, NY Communities of Change, The Jewish Vote, Our Revolution, Tenants PAC, Street PAC, Independent Neighborhood Democrats, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Lambada Independent Democrats, Hotel Trades Council, CWA, DC37, UFT, 1199,
The AOL Progressive Machine Propelled a Citywide and Brooklyn Borough-wide Candidate that Few Expected to Win to Commanding Leads
NYC Comptroller Candidate Brad Lander was endorsed by AOC’s PAC Courage to Change and is in the lead after round after round one with 229021votes 31.31%. Is second place after the first round of counting is Corey D. Johnson with 164858 votes 22.54%. Lander was also endorsed by: Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren, Jamaaal Bowman, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez, Jumaane Williams, Pramila Jayapal, UAW, In the Fight North Brooklyn, Progressive Women of New York, City Council candidates Jennifer Gutiérrez, Sandy Nurse, and Alexa Avilés. Alessandra Biaggi, Julia Salazar, Robert Carrol, Antonio Reynoso, Tiffany Caban, Activist Cynthia Nixon, Zephyr Teachout, Yvette D. Clarke, Alessandra Biaggi, Julia Salazar, Antonio Reynoso, Justin Brannan, NY Times, WFP, Make the Road, NY Communities of Change. CWA, UAW, VOCAL-NY, NY Communities of Change, Our Revolution, The Jewish Vote and Muslim Democratic Club of New York.
Brooklyn Borough President Candidate Antonio Reynoso has 71,751 vote 28.16% after the first round. Reynoso’s closes competitor is the county boss’s candidate Robert E. Cornegy Jr who has 48,796, 19.15%. The Brownstone liberal candidate Jo Anne Simon has 44869, 17.61%. Reynoso who once cast himself as a “boombox for progressive values” was endorsed by: Senator Bernie Sanders, Congress Member Nydia Velázquez, The Jewish Vote, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Antonio Reynoso, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, NY Working Families Party, Hotel Trades Council, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road Action, VOCAL- NY, Activist Cynthia Nixon, Zephyr Teachout.